The Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman has assured Nigerians that the National Library would be completed in 21 months as the nation’s depository.
Mamman said this in Abuja on Tuesday during a tour with some Heads of Agencies in the sector to ascertain the project level.
He said that the contractor in charge of the project would return to the site in earnest to deliver the national edifice for the good of the citizenry.
“This project is too important for Nigerians and we have this project uncompleted for close to 20 years. We know the importance of a library not to talk about a national library.
“So, the decision is that we have a president who does not tolerate uncompleted projects anywhere. He is determined to deliver on what will bring progress and development and the national library is one of the major edifices anywhere in the world.
“So, the decision is that everyone involved must come back to the site,” he said.
When asked about the cost required to complete the project, the minister refused to comment on it, and said though there were issues surrounding the project that is being worked out as everyone involved would come together to review the cost.
“There are some issues here and there but the project will be completed in about 21 months.
“But we are urging them (The construction company) to deliver the project earlier because we’ve dragged it for too long and the project is too important for it to be dragged any further.
“So whatever obstacles in the project, we are determined to go over it and attend to it so it doesn’t become an obstacle,” he said.
Meanwhile, the National Library, Prof. Chinwe Anunobi faulted the issues of bureaucratic bottlenecks to have hindered the completion of the project since awarded in 2006.
She also assured that work would commence immediately saying that the monitoring would be followed by meetings of stakeholders involved in the project.
NAN reports that the initial contract sum of the national library as of March 11, 2006, when it was first awarded was N8,590,226,393.00 when the exchange rate was N130.29. The project was then expected to span through 22 months.
The Ministry of Education later re-awarded the project in March 2010 for 21 months at the cost of N49,643,337,960.32.
However, the construction firm in charge of the project, Reynolds Construction Company Nigeria Ltd. had in 2010 projected N120,327,599,990.45 as the cost of completion of the project.
Also, as of 2012, when the exchange rate was N163, N150 million was needed for the completion of the project.
In other words, with the current exchange rate of the dollar at 774 naira per dollar, the government would be required to use about N100 billion to complete the project.